Sea Breeze released!

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Good morning fellas!

Just a little heads up to let you know that my Sea Breeze sweater pattern has been released yesterday, woohoo! It’s available on Ravelry, go check it out! :) Sea Breeze

Monogamously knitting!

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Hey Sweeties, long time no blog!

I have not been very present on the blog in the last few weeks, and I’m sorry to admit that I don’t even have a good reason for it! It’s not like I have been outrageously busy or anything but quite frankly, I have not had much to show you lately since I have been a very, very monogamous knitter since I came back from vacation.

This is a little weird to me since I generally tend to work on at least 3 or 4 projects simultaneously at any given moment, but lately I started test-knitting a second version of the Stellata cardigan pattern from the lovely Anne and I have been pouring all my heart into it, since it is such a lovely, sweet and elegant design.

Since I started a week late because of vacation – and because I had a little mishap on the way – I have not been able to progress as fast as I would have wanted to, but I am delighted to show you where I’m at as of today.

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The yarn I’m using is Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in color peach. I am so exited about this project because when I swatched for it, I noticed the washed swatch plumped up very nicely and felt not only soft, but also supple and breezy – seeing that, I can already predict now this cardigan is going to be a favorite of mine this summer, and the next, and the next again!

How about you guys? Are you monogamous or polygamous knitters? How many projects do you usually work on simultaneously?

A little taste of summer!

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I just got back from a very warm, sunny, crazy week of vacation in Nevada and Arizona with my honeybee, my brother and his girlfriend.It was so much fun, I feel totally recharged! After so much snow, and rain, and cold weather here up north, a little sunshine was definitely more than welcomed. We first visited Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, then saw the Grand Canyon and Sunset Crater Volcano, we drove through Sedona and the Tonto National Forest, hiked the Hayden Butte, and so much more! I definitely kept myself really busy, but it it was all worth it. All in all, I had an incredible vacation, and I really want to share a little bit of it with you guys, so here’s a few pictures I took – hope you like them!

FotorCreatedCanyon FotorCreatedSedona FotorCreatedSunsetCrater FotorCreatedVegas And of course, since I was going to spend a lot of time on a plane or at the airport on the way there and back, I had to start a little project to keep me busy, right? RIGHT? So I started the Estuary shawl, using some Confetti Superwash yarn from DGB I had in stash. Lucky me, a little bit of knitting here and there during the trip and some knitting time at the airport allowed me to reach the halfway mark in only a week. Yes! It’s a very easy pattern so far, very well explained with easy to follow charts and instructions.

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April novelties!

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In the last couple weeks, I got to finish two projects that have been on the needles for a while. The first one is the manly socks I made for my Honeybee, and the second one is the Seesaw Tee I test knitted for Nell Knits.

The socks were made without a pattern using some Patons Kroy Socks FX yarn my Honeybee picked out earlier this winter. I quite like the result, although I realized afterwards the two skein were not exactly the same color. Oopsy!

Manly socks

The Seesaw Tee was a pleasure to knit, really. The pattern was beautifully written, simple and very easy to understand. The sweater is worked in the round from the bottom up, with only a couple little seams to close up the armpits. It was an unexpectedly fast knit as I was expecting to complete this project towards the end of April and ended up finishing it in only a couple weeks. The yarn I used is Knit-Picks Diadem yarn in color Garnet; which has been discontinued I believe. It’s a 50/50 alpaca/silk yarn, soft as a cloud, it has a really nice drape and halo and it blocks like a charm, making it perfect for any lace projects. It is marked as a fingering weight yarn, but I would say it’s much more of a sport or DK weight, as I used 3.5mm needles and got a blocked gauge of 5 sts to an inch. I used only 2 skeins for a size medium sweater, how great is that? Two down sides though :

1) it’s a loosely spun single, so you have to expect this yarn to be (significantly) splitty

2) it  tends to shed, and I experienced a little bleeding on the first wash – nothing major though!

Other than that, I am very satisfied by both, the pattern and the yarn, and I happily wore my new sweater all day :)

Seesaw Tee

FO Friday – Obsidian Shawl

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I’m very happy today to show you the Obsidian Shawl I just finished last week-end! It’s a cute, simple lace scarf using FibraNatura Flax yarn in black, the pattern is called Lace Scarves – Challenging by OzYarn.

541580_10152773281887475_2218346746823617487_nI cannot express to you how excited I am that this shawl turned out the way it did, because I had been trying to find something to do with this yarn for such a long time that I was starting to get pretty desperate. There is quite a story to this yarn, and if you’ll allow me, I’d like to share my little experience with you.

I bought this yarn about 2 years ago and I was very excited to work with linen for the very first time in my life. Little did I know though that linen is very rough on the hands and tends to break and split a lot – I probably should have done some research before I made the purchase, but oh well! Either way, after ponding over it for some time, I decided to use it to knit the Jackson Square shawl since I had just bought the pattern and thought it was such a lovely design. It took me quite some time to get used to the pattern and the yarn, but I was able to pull it through in a couple months – and that’s where things went wrong. As I was weaving in the ends and tugging on the project gently to even out the stitches, I involuntarily got the yarn stuck on a piece of jewelry I was wearing and ripped up a big gaping hole through the top border, on the back of the neck – which turns out to be the very start of the project. I was completely horrified and did not know what to do with it or how to fix it so for the longest time, the damaged project just sat there, at the bottom of a bag in my living room.

A few months later, I finally picked it back up and resigned myself to frog the project, as I really couldn’t figure out how I could ever repair such a big gaping hole with so many broken threads. I said my goodbyes to the beautiful, delicate shawl design and decided to use the yarn to make a basic racer back tank top instead… That never saw the light of day either. Somehow, although I was very determined to get something done with this yarn, I just couldn’t find a tank top pattern that fit what I had in mind and when I tried to make one up myself it just didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would. So after much thought, I decided to frog again. A second time.

Well, as they say though, third time’s the charm and on my third try I decided to go for a pattern I have tried before (see my English Mesh Lace Scarf) and liked very, very much – and it turned out great. No ripping the yarn, no weird fitting issues and no pattern issues. Such a relief!

Have you guys ever had such experiences with a yarn frogged one too many times or a project that doesn’t turn out the way you hoped? What was your solution? Let me know in the comments down below.

Mock Cable Sweetness!

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There’s nothing that can quite compare to the feeling of accomplishment you get when finishing a big project, is there? There is a project I have been working on since early January that just recently came to an end; what was before a shapeless UFO suddenly became a beautiful garment, right before my very eyes.

What I mean is that I just finished the Evelyn Cardigan I was test-knitting for the lovely Paula Ladd, and I simply love it!

Evelyn

This mock cable design is very delicate and elegant, and it was a pleasure to knit. This cardigan is worked seamlessly from the bottom up, and stitches are picked up and knit at the end for both button bands. The only three mods I made were to add waist shaping, add length and I did not knit the last neck decrease, or else the neck would have been too tight. It was a challenge for me because I generally have trouble keeping myself motivated until the end when knitting bottom up sweaters, but I am so glad I pulled it through because the finished piece is just so beautiful!

I also recently made a set of placemats I gave to a friend as a housewarming gift, and I simply LOVE the color scheme! I think I might use the idea for a few more, and maybe a bag or two :)

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And finally, I have been missing my wheel so I worked up a little spin this week. Here’s what I came up with:

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That’s it for me! What have you guys been up to, lately? What are your current projects?

Crafty Effie on Etsy!

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So… I decided to open an Etsy Shop. I know, as if I didn’t have enough projects going on already, but hear me out! I have very good reasons to explain it (or so I think)!

You guys know I’ve been complaining about how I have too much fabric remnants cluttering my apartment and too many started-but-never-finished sewing projects piling up in boxes. Well, I recently decided the best way to solve this issue was to do a little stash busting and make many, many bags, placemats and zipper pouches to try to clear out some space in my sewing room. And even though project or notions bag always come in handy for a knitter, I think there’s a limit to how many bags a single person can use – so I decided to offer my creations to other people who might enjoy them :)

So here’s the beast, there’s not a lot of items for now but I will keep adding more as I make them. Please help me out by visiting/sharing/pinning or whatever else, it would mean a lot to me! :)

http://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyEffieCreations

Thank you all!!! :)